JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a series that has little to show off. Creator Hirohiko Araki started the manga decades ago and its legacy has gone through all sorts of iterations. These days the shonen is as mainstream as they come as anime has blown up worldwide. And if new fans are coming to JoJo by the day, well – it’s only right that they thank Araki for making yandere into something.
No, seriously – the creator is believed to have started anime’s yandere obsession. The artist pitched the archetype with Yukako Yamagashi in the early ’90s, and the industry hasn’t looked back since.
The tidbit popped up on social media at the beginning of the year, and the fact is contextualizing. Araki introduced Yukako in Diamond Is Breakable, so the character was a product of the ’90s. In fact, Yukako’s personality bears striking similarities to Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s Misery. And since Kathy Bates made the role famous on film two years before Diamond Is Unbreakable launched, well – you can piece together Araki’s inspiration.
In interviews at the time, JoJo’s creator admitted that he wanted to create a character with a personality that was the opposite of tired, which was popular in the industry. Moe characters were often portrayed as vulnerable, caring protagonists with inherent innocence that no one could shake. This trope exists to this day, as many know, so that’s when Araki turned Yukako into the opposite of moe. This is how the yandere archetype originated, and it is characterized by a character who loves as fiercely as a moe figure, but in a twisted sense. Yandere leads are often deranged and unstable in their affections, and Yukako fits right in with that.
Yukako’s popularity helped push the yandere archetype into the manga industry as a whole, and the term itself emerged in subsequent years. As for Araki, well – his inspiration for the archetype has got him in trouble at home if the reports are to be believed. Misery aside, Araki once said in an interview that Yukako was created when the artist was studying his recent marriage.
“I think my experience of getting married was reflected in my work,” Araki said. “Instead of just drawing women, I started trying to draw the other side of women that you don’t usually get to see. I think getting married and starting a family has added a lot of depth to my work.”
Did you know about the history of JoJo’s yandere…? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or give me a call on Twitter @Megan Peters CB.
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